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Judge throws out the Ancestry.com intellectual property lawsuit

| Jun 23, 2021 | Intellectual Property

Prominent genealogical website Ancestry.com Inc. has officially thwarted an intellectual property lawsuit filed against in California.

The suit was filed by a class of California residents in the US District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs argued that Ancestry is profiting from private information in its yearbook database without consent.

Presiding Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler initially dismissed the case in March ruling that the plaintiffs lacked standing and that Ancestry is immune from liability under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

She gave the plaintiffs a chance to cure these deficiencies by granting them leave to amend the complaint. However, it appears that the same issues persist as the Judge reiterated much of her original analysis. In particular, she remained unpersuaded by the argument that Ancestry was stealing the information used in their yearbooks.

“This argument does not change the court’s conclusion that Ancestry is not a content provider,” the Judge said. “Ancestry obviously did not create the yearbooks. Instead, it necessarily used information provided by another information content provider and is immune under (the CDA).”

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